If you have a very large tattoo and you want to remove it, you will likely have a lot of questions – such as whether or not removal is possible. Fortunately the laser tattoo removal can remove tattoos of any size.
What size is considered a large tattoo?
A tattoo larger than 35 inches square—about the size of a postcard—is considered large. Multiplying the height by the width will tell you the size of the tattoo in square inches.
The cost of tattoo removal is determined by the number of sessions required, which depends on the volume. Larger tattoos tend to have more sessions than smaller ones. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the average cost of a laser tattoo removal session is $463.
The specific cost of removing a large tattoo depends on several factors:
- Exact size
- tattoo age
- Location on the body
- Laser removal method
- Your personal health and lifestyle
Old tattoos usually take fewer sessions than newer tattoos because the ink has already worn off. Light colors: like lime green and turquoise may take longer to remove than other colors as well. Furthermore, certain parts of the body, such as the torso, receive more blood flow, which speeds up the removal process in those areas. The type of laser used also affects the number of sessions required. The advanced Picoway laser, which can manipulate the wavelengths required to reduce each color, speeds up the process as much as possible.
How many sessions does it take to remove the large tattoo?
The number of sessions required will vary based on all of the reasons described above. However, complete removal of large tattoos usually takes 8 to 12 sessions, with an average of ten sessions. If you want a partial fade instead, fewer sessions will likely be required.
How long will it take for the tattoo to be removed?
The process can take about a year and two months to two years, depending on the total number of sessions required. Whether you’re visiting a doctor’s office, a dermatologist, or a laser removal specialist, sessions should be at least six weeks apart. The total length of time will depend on how close you are to scheduling your sessions, which will be affected by the speed of your recovery. Some clients choose to customize sessions up to eight weeks apart to promote optimal healing.
You can speed up the removal of large tattoos by hydrating and exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and taking vitamins that promote healthy skin and body.
Alternative ways to remove tattoos
There are the varieties of “natural” tattoo removal methods that claim to be better alternatives to laser tattoo removal. All of these come with their own quirks and risks:
Saline tattoo removal: It involves injecting a saline solution into the dermis to dilute the ink and encourage it to ooze. This method pushes the ink into the dermis so it can fade. This method is rarely effective, and while each session is cheaper, it often takes more sessions than the laser. In order to bring the ink up to the surface in hopes that it will slough off or ooze onto the skin, a wound is created. After repeatedly forming the same wound in the same area, this is a huge risk for pigmentation damage and scarring.
Dermabrasion: This procedure is essentially an exfoliation that is taken to the extreme, through a chemical or physical exfoliation. This method has a high risk of scarring, infection, and skin irregularities.
Tattoo removal creams: These at-home creams are intended to gradually lighten the ink through topical application. Many try to hide the fact that these creams are bleach-based, which can lead to discoloration, scarring and chemical damage to the skin.
Circumcision: Sometimes used for smaller tattoos, circumcision is actually the removal of the part of the skin where the tattoo is. Circumcision involves stitches and almost certain scarring.